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John Weston Performs at the Delta Cultural Center

John Weston, an Arkansas Delta blues man of extraordinary talent and originality, will perform in a concert presented by the Delta Cultural Center on March 2. The concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m., will be held in the Delta Cultural Center's Reception Hall, located at 223 Cherry Street. The concert is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are necessary.

Born in Lee County, Arkansas, 1927, Weston worked at many trades before honing his musical skills and becoming a blues performer. He gained public notice in 1988 performing outside of Bubba's Blues Corner in downtown Helena.

His singing and playing on a Helena street corner recalled the way blues was often presented in the 1930s and 1940s, when Helena was the hub of Delta blues activity.

Since 1988, Weston has received awards from The Blues Foundation in Memphis, recorded for a variety of record labels, and performed at blues festivals around the world. He currently resides in Brinkley. Weston accompanies himself on both guitar and harmonica. He sometimes performs with a band, but his March 2 performance will be solo.

Weston writes all his own material, and bases it on personal relationships and social circumstances from his own life and what he sees around him. Many of his songs deal with the often stormy relationships between the sexes. "When I write songs about women doing me wrong, I'm not putting women down," he explains. "But I must write about women, because I'm a man!"

During the Mississippi River flood of 1993, a television reporter called him to ask if he had any songs about the Mississippi. Recalls Weston: "I said No ma'am.

But call me back in about forty minutes." And he immediately sat down and composed "Mighty Mississippi," which appears on his CD "Got to Deal with the Blues."

His lyrics are often sprinkled with humorous observations, such as these lines from his song "About Money": "They say money can't buy happiness, but that's a saying they should stop/ All I can say about those people is that they don't know where to shop!"

The concert is part of the Delta Cultural Center's Music Documentation Program. For more information, please contact the Delta Cultural Center at (870) 338-4350.

The Delta Cultural Center is a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

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Copyright by Larry Heyl and Vivian Heyl, 1997